Arkansas Crime

RaMaya Reed
KATV, Channel 7 News

Little Rock police have announced a $20,000 reward for information that leads to the arrest and conviction for whoever fatally shot a 2-year-old girl earlier this week.

Police announced Friday that an anonymous donor gave $10,000 for the reward, and the city of Little Rock matched that donation.

Authorities say the girl was riding in a vehicle Tuesday night when she was struck by gunfire. The girl was taken to a Little Rock hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

Police say a motive for the shooting is not yet known.

Clinton Presidential Center Robbery Shooting
Korey Isbell / KATV-Channel 7 News

A man selling bluejeans has been shot in the visitors' parking lot of the Clinton Presidential Center in what police say was a robbery.

Little Rock Police Public Affairs Officer Lt. Steven McClanahan says three men approached the 19-year-old victim and his cousin Monday evening and at least one of them drew a handgun and fired, striking the victim in the leg. McClanahan says the injury is not life-threatening, and that the victim was taken by his cousin to a hospital.

Police have not released the victim's name.

A judge has ordered the release of a 59-year-old man convicted of a killing that occurred in Arkansas more than 40 years ago.

The Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports that Dennis Lewis of Wichita, Kansas, was 17 years old when he fatally shot Jared Cobb during a robbery at a Springdale pawn shop in April 1974.

Lewis was convicted of capital murder and assault with the intent to rob in the case, and he was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

KATV, Channel 7 News

UPDATE (4:55 pm): A police report says officers responding to multiple reports of a disturbance early Tuesday found 46-year-old Roy Lee Richards pointing a long gun at his uncle.

The report says one officer "engaged" Richards and fired several shots. It doesn't say whether Richards opened fire.

The officer and another officer then began resuscitation efforts.

The report says the uncle told investigators that Richards started the disturbance and was approaching him with the gun when the officers arrived.

A former Arkansas judge accused of giving lighter sentences to defendants in exchange for nude photos and sexual acts has been indicted on federal fraud and bribery charges.

The indictment against former Cross County District Court Judge Joseph Boeckmann was unsealed Monday. He's facing several charges, including wire fraud and witness tampering.

Boeckmann resigned in May after an investigation into allegations of inappropriate sexual relationships with men accused of crimes dating back decades, to his time as a prosecutor.

Police say two suspects have been arrested for the August shooting death of a North Carolina woman at a gas station in North Little Rock.

Sgt. Brian Dedrick says the suspects were arrested about 7 a.m. Tuesday on first-degree murder warrants and are now jailed without bond. Court records do not show that either suspect has been formally charged.

The two are suspects in the Aug. 6 shooting of 39-year-old Amy Southern Ashley of Raleigh, North Carolina, at a gas station just off the Interstate 30 bridge in downtown North Little Rock.

Sebastian COunty Sheriff's Deputy Bill Cooper
Sebastian Co. Sheriff's Office

A prosecutor says he'll look at an autopsy report due this week as he explores whether to seek the execution of a man accused of killing a western Arkansas deputy.

The Arkansas State Crime Lab says the medical examiner has completed its autopsy on Sebastian County Cpl. Bill Cooper and that investigators and prosecutors should have access soon. Prosecutor Dan Shue told the Southwest Times Record newspaper that part of his due diligence before starting a possible death-penalty case includes a look at the autopsy.

State Rep. John Walker (D-Little Rock).
Pulaski County Sheriff's Office

Little Rock Police are apologizing and dropping the misdemeanor charge against Democratic state representative and civil rights attorney John Walker. He was taken into custody Monday for filming a traffic stop and refusing to leave the scene

Chief of Police Kent Buckner now says Walker never should have been arrested.

State Rep. John Walker (D-Little Rock).
Pulaski County Sheriff's Office

Democratic state lawmaker and civil rights attorney John Walker was arrested on Monday for obstructing governmental operations. 

The Arkansas Supreme Court has ordered a resentencing for an inmate who has served nearly 40 years in prison for a crime committed when he was 16 years old.

Billy Ray Smith, who is now 59, challenged the life sentence he received in Pike County for rape. Smith, who represented himself in court filings, argued that a life sentence without parole for a non-homicide offense was illegal for a juvenile, and the state's highest court agreed on Thursday.

The court sent Smith's case back to Pike County Circuit Court with orders that his sentence be modified to 50 years.

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